New Quick Reads titles announced for 2015

19 September 2014

1993 Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle is amongst the six authors announced today as the names behind the 2015 Quick Reads titles. The books, which are sponsored by Galaxy® for the fifth year running, will be published on 5 February 2015:

Roddy DoyleDead Man Talking

Jojo MoyesParis for Two One

Sophie HannahPictures Or It Didn’t Happen

Fanny BlakeRed for Revenge

Adèle GerasOut of the Dark

James Bowen Street Cat Bob

In the most recent NIACE evaluation report, 98% of literacy practitioners report that using Quick Reads has been effective at raising learners’ confidence to read whilst 95% say that the books have been effective at improving readers’ literacy skills.

Roddy Doyle, who won the Booker Prize 21 years ago for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, is the first Man Booker Prize author to pen a Quick Read. The book has come about through collaboration between Quick Reads and the Booker Prize Foundation, as part of the Foundation’s commitment to building the bridge between literature and literacy. Roddy is a passionate advocate for literacy and is involved in various projects promoting reading and writing in Ireland, as a contributor to the Open Door literacy series (the original inspiration for Quick Reads) and as Co-Founder and Chairman of Fighting Words in Dublin.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Project Director, Quick Reads, said:

“I love the Man Booker Prize and it distresses me that one in six adults of working age in the UK does not have the literacy skills to read the winning book. By asking a previous winner to write a Quick Read, we are enabling a far wider audience to experience both literature and the Man Booker Prize as they make progress on a journey towards becoming part of the reading world. Roddy’s book is a wonderfully compelling tale about life and death and shows the story possibilities that can exist even when using simpler language.

“I am delighted that Galaxy is continuing to support Quick Reads for the fifth year running. Quick Reads is about bringing not just the benefits but also the pleasures of reading to adults.”

Roddy commented on his involvement:

“I’m delighted to be involved with Quick Reads as they are all about creating new readers and I’ve seen at first-hand how low levels of literacy have a negative effect on people’s lives. Literacy is the key to opening doors for everyone.

“I started to write a story about a man who was pretending to be dead. But as I wrote, it changed and I realised I was writing about death. I wanted the story to be funny and a bit frightening because, while it’s often frightening, death is rarely funny – and I wanted the challenge.”

Carol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“Quick Reads – the wonderful short, plot-filled books, written by well-known authors – are exactly what people who have lost the reading habit, or struggle with aspects of reading, need and want. They are a wonderfully simple, effective and absolutely brilliant idea to help people engage with good books. Quick Reads are what the world of adult literacy has been crying out for and now simply could not cope without.

“Coming so soon after the BIS Select Committee report on adult literacy and numeracy in England, these new Quick Reads will be an integral part of the strategy this country desperately needs to encourage more adults to improve their literacy skills, entice them into whole new worlds and completely fall in love with reading. Since they were first published in 2006, a huge number of adults have read and enjoyed a book for the first time. They have developed a new-found confidence in reading, many have gone to gain their first ever qualifications and are now helping their children and grandchildren with their schoolwork. Many more will do the same as a result of reading these new Quick Reads.”

Emma Thornton, Galaxy® Marketing Director, said:

“At Galaxy we are passionate about helping people discover the pleasure of reading. A great book and a bar of Galaxy are the perfect combination, and we are proud to have played a part in the growth and development of the Quick Reads charity over the last five years.”